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15 Concepts and Solutions for Providing Clean Drinking Water

15 Concepts and Solutions for Providing Clean Drinking Water | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

1. Using "Super Sand" to clean water:

2. Seeds of the "Miracle Tree":

3. Bicycle Water Purifier:

4. Atmospheric Water Generators:

5. Personal Solar Stills:

6. Large Scale Solar Stills:

7. Pump while Playing:

8. Well Repair and Rehabilitation:

9. Water-Producing Wind Turbines:

10. Table Salt Helps Clean Water:

11. Sewage to Drinking Water:

12. Portable Rainwater Harvesting Units:

13. Solar Powered Rain Catchment and Purifier:

14. Personal UV Purifiers:

15. Water Filtration Straws:

 

http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/concepts-providing-clean-drinking-water.html

 

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Groundwater Pumping Sinks Beijing Region at Increasing Rate ("over-exploitation always has a price")

Groundwater Pumping Sinks Beijing Region at Increasing Rate ("over-exploitation always has a price") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Satellite data reveal the depths of the megacity’s thirst for groundwater.


Bert Guevara's insight:
After pumping out too much ground water, the railway system of China is in danger because of ground "subsidence." There is always a price to pay when we over-exploit nature.
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Here’s what a bleaching disaster looks like ("not all dead yet; just hungry, but may die soon")

Here’s what a bleaching disaster looks like ("not all dead yet; just hungry, but may die soon") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Is that coral bleached, dead, or just taking a nap? These photos will teach you the difference.

The good news: The peak of coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is over! The bad: The outcome of that bleaching is pretty awful — like, “one of the worst environmental disasters in Australian history.” 

That’s according to the Ocean Agency, which recently released photos taken in May near Australia’s Lizard Island. The slimy, smelly corals had the audacity to decompose and drip off the reef, right in front of the camera! Have some self-respect, guys.

“I can’t even tell you how bad I smelled after the dive — the smell of millions of rotting animals,” Richard Vevers, chief executive of the Ocean Agency, told the Guardian. 

Already-warm waters augmented by a strong dose of El Niño have led to the bleaching of 93 percent of corals in the Great Barrier Reef’s central and northern sections. Up to a quarter of all of its corals have already died.

When corals bleach, that doesn’t mean that they’re dead yet — just really hungry. Coral polyps — the small, blobby creatures that make up coral structures — don’t make their own food. Their main energy source is zooxanthellae, colorful algae that live in coral tissues and produce energy through photosynthesis. When waters warm up, those algae produce chemicals that agitate coral cells. Bleaching occurs when a coral polyp pushes its algae pals out, turning ghostly white in the process. 

If water temperatures drop to normal levels fast enough, corals can invite the zooxanthellae back, recover, and potentially live healthily ever after. If warm conditions persist, well … the corals starve to death, and turn from bone-white to muddy brown as algae grow over their surfaces.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The good news: The peak of coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is over! The bad: The outcome of that bleaching is pretty awful — like, “one of the worst environmental disasters in Australian history.”
"The bleaching event, which began last year, continues to threaten reefs around the globe, and the latest wave is sweeping the Indian Ocean. Let’s hope those corals fare better, and get their color back."
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Microplastics: which beauty brands are safe to use?

Microplastics: which beauty brands are safe to use? | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The tiny beads used in exfoliant scrubs and toothpastes are at various stages of being phased out by the industry. Until a blanket ban comes into force, here’s a handy list of popular brands to help you choose which to use and which to avoid

Last week, Greenpeace found that two-thirds of the British public it polled think plastic microbeads used in exfoliant toiletries should be banned. 

The tiny beads - found in face and body scrubs and some toothpastes - are too small to be captured through existing wastewater treatment processes, and wash straight into the ocean where they harm fish and other sea life. 

The US passed a ban at the end of 2015, with Canada set to follow suit and several EU nations - but not the UK - calling for a legal ban. 

A single cleansing product can contain as many as 360,000 microbeads, while natural, biodegradable alternatives include jojoba beads, apricot kernels, ground nutshells and salt. 

Many beauty brands have already stopped using microplastics or committed to do so, but until a blanket ban comes into force, we’ve compiled a handy list of which companies to use and which to consider avoiding. 

If you’re unsure, check the label and avoid products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and nylon.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Microbeads - a problem that is so small (to the naked eye) that we don't realize how bad it is affecting our oceans and water supply. Read the list of companies and products who produce have stopped or are not using microbeads.

"A single cleansing product can contain as many as 360,000 microbeads, while natural, biodegradable alternatives include jojoba beads, apricot kernels, ground nutshells and salt."
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10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean -- National Geographic ("june 8 is world oceans day")

10 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean -- National Geographic ("june 8 is world oceans day") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Learn what you can do to help save the ocean with these 10 tips.

1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption 

2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices 

When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable. 

3. Use Fewer Plastic Products 

To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in nondisposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible. 

4. Help Take Care of the Beach 

Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. 

5. Don't Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life 

Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products. 

6. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet Owner 

Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water. 

7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean 

Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. 

8. Influence Change in Your Community 

Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter. 

9. Travel the Ocean Responsibly 

Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. 

10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life 

Bert Guevara's insight:
June 8 is World Oceans Day. What can we do to help save the oceans?
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The Vanishing Islands Of India's Sundarbans ("the inhabitants are evacuating; homes sinking")

The Vanishing Islands Of India's Sundarbans ("the inhabitants are evacuating; homes sinking") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Climate change has forced tens of thousands out. "I know I have a beautiful home," one islander says, "but ultimately it will go into the womb of the river. All we can do is try to delay the process."

People in India know the Sundarbans as a beautiful and dangerous patchwork of mangrove islands covering nearly 4,000 square miles extending into Bangladesh. It is also home to a variety of rare and endangered species and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, this watery landscape is getting international attention for a different reason. 

Some of these islands are disappearing, swallowed up by rising tides. Tens of thousands of people who live in the Sundarbans have lost their homes in recent decades. 

This is an estuary where saltwater from the Bay of Bengal mixes with freshwater from three of India's major rivers — the Ganges, the Meghna and the Brahmaputra. The tides in the Sundarbans are so dramatic that about a third of the land disappears and reappears every day.

Pramanik used to think he'd have 20 or 30 more years here. But he says the floods have been coming so much more frequently, now he thinks it might not be long at all until everything is washed away. 

"We'll never have the same kind of community, the same kind of bonding we have here," he says. "Everybody will separate to new homes, new communities, new places." 

It's already started. One of those new places is nearby Sagar island. It's much bigger — a Hindu pilgrimage site, with power lines and paved roads. You can drive an hour and still not reach the opposite side.


Bert Guevara's insight:
More sinking islands ...

"That's been happening for centuries. But just in the past few decades, the changes have become more extreme. In this delta, water levels are rising more dramatically than in other parts of the world — especially on the island of Ghoramara. 
"Approaching the island, it looks like a piece of cheese where a mouse has been nibbling around the edges. There are trees in the center and mud flats on the perimeter, but chunks have been removed from the landscape. The mud bank has been heavily eroded by rising tides, which leave jagged tooth marks cutting into dirt and rock. Trees have toppled into the water. 
"This island used to be home to 40,000 people. Today, just over 3,000 live here."
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Great Barrier Reef needs $10bn for chance of survival, scientists say ("this reef's future is bleak")

Great Barrier Reef needs $10bn for chance of survival, scientists say ("this reef's future is bleak") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

This election is Australia’s last chance to save the reef, which requires $1bn a year for 10 years to reduce water pollution to give it a chance to survive climate change, report warns

The government needs to commit to $1bn a year for 10 years to reduce water pollution, which would give the reef a chance to survive the impacts of climate change, according to the paper published in the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 

“This is the last chance,” said the lead author, Jon Brodie from James Cook University. “The current spending is totally inadequate ... You either do it properly or you give up on the reef. It’s that bad.”

Climate change is dramatically impacting the reef, with warm water causing 93% of coral reefs to bleach this year. It is the worst bleaching event ever seen in the Great Barrier Reef. Mass bleaching events were never seen before 1998. 

The reef’s ability to recover from bleaching is hampered by water pollution, caused largely by nearby land-clearing, as well as fertiliser and pesticide run-off from farming. Fishing also damages the reef’s resilience by disrupting the ecosystems that support healthy coral. 

Brodie and his colleague Richard Pearson analysed all the current management plans, evaluated their impacts and developed an estimate of what would be needed to give the reef a fighting chance against already locked-in climate change. The required measures would cost $10bn over 10 years. Brodie said that would get water quality to a point where the reef was in the best shape possible to fight the impact of climate change.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is the last chance for Australia. They either do it properly or they give up on the reef. It’s that bad!

"Some of the required measures could be controversial, including buybacks of some sugarcane farms that are too polluting. But Brodie said many of those farms were not particularly profitable and many farmers would be happy to sell the land.
"The $10bn needed by 2025 amounted to $1bn a year. But since the reef was estimated to generate up to $20bn a year for the Australian economy, that amounted to just 5% of its economic value for a limited time."
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Taiwanese chemical spill thought to cause mass fish die-off in Vietnam ("chemical warfare at sea")

Taiwanese chemical spill thought to cause mass fish die-off in Vietnam ("chemical warfare at sea") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The incident is shaping up as a classic conflict between industrialization and the environment, a catastrophe for tens of thousands of fishermen and their families, and a test of the management skills and political acumen of Vietnam’s new leaders.

Vietnam has bet its future on its ability to attract — and learn from — foreign investors. It has a young workforce, low wage rates and a streamlined approval process for investment. Foreign capital has surged into VN in the last few years, much of it bearing the prestigious marques of multinational corporations.

Now a devastating fish kill along the nation’s central coast has Vietnam’s government tied up in knots and its citizens muttering that the regime has been far too ready to drop environmental protection standards.

Circumstantial evidence points to a massive release of toxic chemicals at Vung Ang, a bay on Vietnam’s north central coast, on April 4. Prevailing currents carried the poisons south-southeast along the heavily indented coastline for approximately 200 kilometers.

When Vietnam’s national media picked up the story circa April 24, units of Vietnam’s Fisheries Agency had already counted some 70 tons of dead fish washed up on the beaches of four provinces. Subsequently there were also reports of the collateral decimation of fish-eating seabird colonies.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is a classic case of industrialization killing the environment. Vietnam wanted quick progress, but they are paying a high environmental price.

"The blow to the economy of the four provinces has been considerable: in particular, thousands of fishermen idled, the markets emptied of seafood, and a sharp fall-off in tourist visitors."
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Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected ("more bad news for helpless sea life")

Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected ("more bad news for helpless sea life") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Ocean acidification is causing reefs in Florida to dissolve decades ahead of previous predictions.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast. 

Some of the reefs around the Florida Keys are dissolving. They may have crossed a tipping point due to increasing ocean acidification, raising the alarm that climate change impacts in the ocean are continuing to happen at a much quicker pace than scientists previously suspected.

Rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are making seas more acidic. That makes it harder for coral to build up their skeletons. 

Scientists expected that the rising tide of acidic waters would cross a tipping point and start dissolving reefs by mid-century. But some of Florida’s reefs appear to be getting a head start, according to research published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles on Monday. 

Scientists sampled seven sites across the 300-mile stretch of reefs stretching from Miami south to Key West. The findings show that the northern stretches of the reefs and their limestone bases are already dissolving. 

“Those reefs are starting to waste away,” Chris Landon, a researcher at the University of Miami who helped lead research, said. “Each year there will be a little less limestone than the year before.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
The climate problem extends to the oceans, where we can do very little. Ocean acidification is not only bleaching corals, they are being dissolved! What now?

"Scientists have started looking at what coral beat the heat in hopes of creating super corals that can survive in our warming oceans. But Langdon’s research shows that their efforts could be for naught because ocean acidification could eat away at the building blocks those corals will need to flourish (or at least survive)."
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UN Predicts 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030 | Inter Press Service ("can be cause of future wars")

UN Predicts 40 Percent Water Shortfall by 2030 | Inter Press Service ("can be cause of future wars") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Ten presidents and prime ministers from around the world will work together to resolve the growing global water crisis amid warnings that the world may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030. 
The figures continue to be staggering: despite improvements, at least 663 million still do not have access to safe drinking water. 
And projecting into the future, the United Nations says an estimated 1.8 billion people – out of a total world population of over 7 billion – will live in countries or regions with water scarcities. 
The crisis has been aggravated by several factors, including climate change (triggering droughts) and military conflicts (where water is being used as a weapon of war in several war zones, including Iraq, Yemen and Syria).
At a UN panel discussion last week, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson of Sweden said water lies at the nexus between sustainable development and climate action.
Referring to the two extremes in weather patterns– droughts on the one hand and floods on the other – Eliasson said one of his colleagues who visited Pakistan after a huge flood, remarked: “Too much water and not a drop to drink.”
Bert Guevara's insight:
The prospects are alarming, considering that water is a matter of survival. Yet, I do not see the sense of urgency in our country. We are not storing, reusing, recycling nor conserving water.
Droughts are now raising the level of unrest in the countryside.

"Currently, nearly two billion people worldwide are estimated to be drinking water which may be faecally contaminated....
“As we address water, sanitation and hygiene, we must also take into account climate change. Droughts, floods, and extreme weather conditions all have an effect on the availability and the safety of water,” said Wijesekera.
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There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs ("assisted evolution is possible to save corals")

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs ("assisted evolution is possible to save corals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Coral that survived a massive bleaching event could hold a climate change adaptation secret.

Once vibrant reefs, some of the most pristine on the planet, were almost completely dead. Brownish red algae was draped across them like a funeral shroud. Hot water brought on by one of the strongest El Niños on record — layered on top of climate change-driven warming — was simply too much for the reefs to take. There were exceptions, though — tiny pieces of baby coral that are beating the odds. And those exceptions could give scientists insight into how to make sure climate change doesn’t completely destroy reefs around the world.

After months of being cooked by extremely warm water, around 80 percent of the coral was already dead and another 15 percent was in the process of bleaching by April, according to Baum. Rather than writing a eulogy, the researchers found a sliver of hope in that 5 percent that survived. Well, a nubbin of hope actually. “There were these little nubbins of color,” Cobb said. “My eye was drawn to them and my hopes and heart were drawn to them.”

“This was a threshold crossing event very few individuals made it through,” Cobb said. “We’re really interested in understanding who is coming back and how well are they able to thrive and and what the role of these resilient little miracle corals is. This is basically adaptation on speed.” In addition to Cobb’s nubbins, Baum and her group also found survivors on some of the 200 dives they did. On the surface, there’s not necessarily an obvious rhyme or reason for why certain coral species survived let alone individual colonies.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Positive human intervention may be a good alternative in rescuing the coral population. If man-made climate change accelerated acidification, then man-made "assisted evolution" may do some good. 
Wasn't man created to manage creation?

"The findings could help scientists create super corals that are adapted to future warmer waters. It’s a process called assisted evolution, and it’s highly controversial in the marine conservation field where protected areas are viewed as the gold standard for keeping ocean species safe from the ravages of climate change, fishing and other human actions. But after witnessing what happened at Christmas Island, Baum thinks it could be essential if we want coral in our future."
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Study: Science-based regulations needed to protect region’s coral reefs - News ("smart conservation")

Study: Science-based regulations needed to protect region’s coral reefs - News ("smart conservation") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
An international team, led by University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. 
Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. 
“While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said. 
The research team analysed the effects of fishing on parrotfish and combined this with an analysis of the role of parrotfish on coral reefs. 
“We conclude that unregulated fisheries will seriously reduce the resilience of coral reefs,” Dr Bozec said. “However, implementation of size limits and catch limits to less than 10 per cent of the fishable stock provide a far better outlook for reefs, while also allowing the fishery to persist.” 
Study co-author Professor Peter Mumby from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences said a number of countries wanted to modify their fisheries to reduce impacts on reefs. “What we’ve done is identify fisheries’ policies that might help achieve this,” Professor Mumby said.
“Ultimately, the more we do to maintain healthy coral reefs, the more likely it is that fishers’ livelihoods will be sustained into the future,” Professor Mumby said. 
“We already know that failure to maintain coral habitats will lead to at least a threefold reduction in future fish catches,” he added. 
Bert Guevara's insight:
"A new study has shown that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish and that fresh science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change."
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NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event ("severe bleaching is often lethal")

NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event ("severe bleaching is often lethal") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. Waters are warming in the Caribbean, threatening coral in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, NOAA scientists said. Coral bleaching began in the Florida Keys and South Florida in August, but now scientists expect bleaching conditions there to diminish.

“The coral bleaching and disease, brought on by climate change and coupled with events like the current El Niño, are the largest and most pervasive threats to coral reefs around the world,” said Mark Eakin, NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch coordinator. “As a result, we are losing huge areas of coral across the U.S., as well as internationally. What really has us concerned is this event has been going on for more than a year and our preliminary model projections indicate it’s likely to last well into 2016.” While corals can recover from mild bleaching, severe or long-term bleaching is often lethal. After corals die, reefs quickly degrade and the structures corals build erode. This provides less shoreline protection from storms and fewer habitats for fish and other marine life, including ecologically and economically important species.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"Coral can recover from mild bleaching, but severe bleaching is often lethal."

“To solve the long-term, global problem, however, we need to better understand how to reduce the unnatural carbon dioxide levels that are the major driver of the warming.”
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Tourism in Puerto Princesa affected by water shortage ("progress faster than what island can carry")

Residents of Puerto Princesa will have limited water supply starting next week, after city officials implemented a water rationing schedule. - The Worl
Bert Guevara's insight:
The carrying capacity of nature provides a limit to human activity. In this case, water supply directly affects tourism. 
It was fortunate that the citizens of Puerto Princessa are one of the most eco-conscious communities of the country. Inspite of all the tree planting and water conservation programs, the city is still hit by lack of water.
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Bren Smith: Vertical ocean farming ("making the most of nature without destroying it")

Bren Smith has created an alternative for fishermen who can no longer depend on a declining catch from the sea.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Watch video interview of Bren Smith: World's First Sustainable and Affordable 3-Dimensinal Vertical Ocean Farm - shellfish and seaweed farming
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Dozens of Philippine fish species in danger – study ("59 coral reef species no longer found")

Dozens of Philippine fish species in danger – study ("59 coral reef species no longer found") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Overfishing to meet the demands of a fast-growing population and Chinese restaurants around the region is a key factor in the decline, says Gregorio dela Rosa, a marine biologist with Haribon

Fishermen reported that 59 coral reef species had gone missing from catches since the 1950s, according to the study conducted by Haribon, one of the Philippines' oldest conservation groups, and Britain's Newcastle University. 

It based its findings on interviews with 2,600 fishermen across the Philippines, which has one of the highest concentrations of marine species in the world. 

Overfishing to meet the demands of a fast-growing population and Chinese restaurants around the region was a key factor in the decline, according to Gregorio dela Rosa, a marine biologist with Haribon. 

"These species are usually served in restaurants, swimming around in aquariums. They command a high price. If you have lots of mouths to feed, you need lots of fish to catch," dela Rosa, told AFP. 

The Philippines' population has grown to more than 100 million people, from about 20 million in the 1950s. 

Dela Rosa said demand from China added to pressure from the local market. 

"It has a very big impact because most of our fish are exported to China, also Singapore and Hong Kong. The groupers are highly priced, especially the red ones which are in demand in Chinese wedding (receptions)," he said. 

While dynamite and cyanide fishing are illegal and no longer rampant, the study found that they continue to contribute to depleting fish stocks.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Fishing used to be an unlimited resource; now it is not only dwindling, it may be gone!

"Dozens of fish species have disappeared or are on the verge of being lost from marine biodiversity hotspot the Philippines, an environmental group said Friday, June 10, citing a new study. 
"Fishermen reported that 59 coral reef species had gone missing from catches since the 1950s, according to the study conducted by Haribon, one of the Philippines' oldest conservation groups, and Britain's Newcastle University."
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How fish and clean water can protect coral reefs from warming oceans ("natural ways of protection")

How fish and clean water can protect coral reefs from warming oceans ("natural ways of protection") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A combination of factors – pollution, disease and overfishing – is harming corals but scientists have found clues to effective treatment by studying corals' microbiome.

What do we do to save reefs? Our work suggests that managing reefs at the local level by protecting important fish species and minimizing pollution can help prevent coral death. Even during the most warmest periods of the year, when temperatures were most stressful, we saw little coral mortality in places where there were abundant fishes and low levels of nutrients.

Possibly, protecting fishes and minimizing pollution will help protect corals from pathogenic bacteria that kill corals during stressful thermal events. This is especially important in an era of global climate change where ocean temperatures are gradually rising. Our work suggests there is hope for the future of coral reefs. 

There is little we can do about the impacts of massive El Niños on coral reefs. These are global anomalies out of our control. But, abundant fishes and clean water may be key to helping coral reefs survive increasingly stressful normal ocean temperatures – at least in the near term. In the long term, to ensure the persistence of coral reefs, curbing carbon emissions and slowing down the rapidly changing climate is essential.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The attempts to save the corals have hope if we approach it correctly with natural elements.

"Our work suggests that managing reefs at the local level by protecting important fish species and minimizing pollution can help prevent coral death. Even during the most warmest periods of the year, when temperatures were most stressful, we saw little coral mortality in places where there were abundant fishes and low levels of nutrients."
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'Ground-breaking' accord on illegal fishing enters force (29 countries agree to enforce agreement")

'Ground-breaking' accord on illegal fishing enters force (29 countries agree to enforce agreement") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The international treaty, called the Port State Measures Agreement, becomes legally binding in 29 countries

A "ground-breaking" international treaty to combat fishing pirates took effect Sunday, June 5, becoming legally binding in 29 countries that so far have adhered to it, the UN's food agency said. 

Under it, countries are legally required to inspect trawlers when they enter their ports for signs of illicit catches. 

"This is a great day in the continuing effort to build sustainable fisheries that can help feed the world," said Graziano da Silva, director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

"We hail those countries that have already signed on to the agreement and who will begin implementing it as of today. 

"We invited governments who have yet to do so, to join the collective push to stamp out illegal fishing and safeguard the future of our ocean resources." 

The so-called Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) was concluded in 2009 after years of wrangling. 

It has only now taken effect after more than 25 countries – the minimum required to activate the treaty – officially adhered to it last month. 

That triggered a 30-day countdown to when its provisions enter force. 

Current parties are Australia, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Gabon, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, the United States, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Why is the Philippines not included in this historic agreement?

"A "ground-breaking" international treaty to combat fishing pirates took effect Sunday, June 5, becoming legally binding in 29 countries that so far have adhered to it, the UN's food agency said. The so-called Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) was concluded in 2009 after years of wrangling. Under it, countries are legally required to inspect trawlers when they enter their ports for signs of illicit catches. The agreement has only now taken effect after more than 25 countries – the minimum required to activate the treaty – officially adhered to it last month."
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An Inconvenient Truth Then and Now: What’s Changed for Our Climate Since 2006? | Climate Reality

An Inconvenient Truth Then and Now: What’s Changed for Our Climate Since 2006? | Climate Reality | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Sea levels have been rising for the past century – and the pace has only increased in the past decade as glaciers melt faster and water temperatures increase, causing oceans to expand. The chart below shows sea-level changes from 1993–2006 where, from June 2006 to January 2016, sea levels increased about 41.24 millimeters (1.62 inches). You can imagine how this change would affect the half of the global population that lives in towns and cities within 60 kilometers (37 miles) of the coast, including eight of the world’s 10 largest cities. These rising sea levels puts millions of people at risk worldwide as storms intensify and more extreme flooding occurs.
In 2006, concerted international action on climate change was still just sputtering along. The Kyoto Protocol – the first serious attempt at setting international targets for reducing emissions – had gone into effect the year before, but the US never ratified the agreement and splits between developed and developing nations meant it never worked quite as well as had been hoped. But what these failings did was kickstart a search for a better model of international cooperation on climate action. It wasn’t smooth sailing all the way, as the heartbreak of Copenhagen showed in 2009, when negotiators simply walked out and talks on a new climate treaty dissolved. But in the years that followed, countries kept talking and kept working on a new kind of framework that could bring nations at every stage of development together to solve our common challenge, leading to the landmark Paris Agreement last December.
Bert Guevara's insight:
In 2006, global average sea levels had risen 33.54 mm. By 2016, they’d risen 74.48 mm. What now?

"Yes, we have a lot of work ahead to stop climate change. But in the past 10 years, the world has made incredible progress in areas like advancing climate science, rapidly growing renewable energy technologies, and international cooperation. 
"And while we’re not going to claim An Inconvenient Truth was solely responsible for all these developments, what the film did was bring the challenge of climate change out into the open and into mainstream culture like never before. 
"The result was people in every time zone started asking themselves what they could do – and got working on the answers."
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Oceans won’t have enough oxygen in as little as 15 years ("marine eco-system balance makes less O2")

Oceans won’t have enough oxygen in as little as 15 years ("marine eco-system balance makes less O2") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Fish in the Pacific could struggle for survival.

While ocean deoxygenation is well established, a new study led by Matthew Long, an oceanographer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, finds that climate change-driven oxygen loss is already detectable in certain swaths of ocean and will likely be “widespread” by 2030 or 2040.

Ultimately, Long told The Huffington Post, oxygen-deprived oceans may have “significant impacts on marine ecosystems” and leave some areas of ocean all but uninhabitable for certain species. 

While some ocean critters, like dolphins and whales, get their oxygen by surfacing, many, including fish and crabs, rely on oxygen that either enters the water from the atmosphere or is released by phytoplankton via photosynthesis. 

But as the ocean surface warms, it absorbs less oxygen. And to make matters worse, oxygen in warmer water, which is less dense, has a tough time circulating to deeper waters. 

For their study, published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Long and his team used simulations to predict ocean deoxygenation through 2100. 

“Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it’s been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change,” Long said in a statement. “This new study tells us when we can expect the impact from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability.”

And we don’t have long.

Bert Guevara's insight:
What have we done to our oceans? It is now losing its oxygen supply - deoxygenation! The ocean eco-system imbalance is causing this. Is man responsible for this? YES!

"It should come as no surprise that human activity is causing the world’s oceans to warm, rise, and acidify.
"But an equally troubling impact of climate change is that it is beginning to rob the oceans of oxygen."
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'A silent catastrophe': Chilean fishermen protest failure to mitigate toxic 'red tide'

'A silent catastrophe': Chilean fishermen protest failure to mitigate toxic 'red tide' | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Thousands of fishermen are protesting the government’s failure to mitigate effects of a poisonous ‘red tide’ agal bloom scientists call largest in history

Thousands of Chilean fishermen have blocked roads with barricades in the region of Los Lagos, saying government efforts to mitigate the economic effects of a harmful algal bloom have been insufficient. 

For the last four weeks, the southern-central region of Los Lagos has been plagued by what scientists say is the biggest “red tide” in its history. 

The red tide – an algal bloom that turns the sea water red – is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile, though the extent of the current outbreak is unprecedented. 

Scientists point to an unusually strong El Niño weather pattern this year as a key factor. 

It makes the mussels, hake, and other fish that residents pull from the ocean essentially poisonous, heaping economic pressure on a region with tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen.

Artisanal fishing unions have blamed the size of the red tide on pollution by Chile’s farmed salmon industry, which is active in the Los Lagos region. 

However, Chile’s Sernapesca fisheries body as well as many scientists have rejected that explanation, pointing to natural factors such as the cyclical El Niño weather pattern, which warms part of the Pacific Ocean and has also caused heavy rain and flooding elsewhere in the region.

Bert Guevara's insight:
When biodiversity is disturbed, all forms of destruction breaks loose! Together with El Niño, this Red Tide phenomenon became the largest in history.
This can also happen in the Philippines as we have both El Nino and red tide occurring naturally.

"Scientists point to an unusually strong El Niño weather pattern this year as a key factor. It makes the mussels, hake, and other fish that residents pull from the ocean essentially poisonous, heaping economic pressure on a region with tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen."
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Crude oil is flooding Texas rivers ("this man-made water pollution in a flooded state is alarming")

Crude oil is flooding Texas rivers ("this man-made water pollution in a flooded state is alarming") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Texas' floods have a nasty side effect: chemicals and crude oil in the water.

Dramatic, deadly flooding is the new normal for parts of Texas and Louisiana this past year. This weekend, a single flash flood killed six people. But the damage often doesn’t end when the skies are finally clear. In Texas — a state dotted with oil wells — extreme flooding can also mean contaminated water. 

According to El Paso Times, chemicals and oil from overfilled wells and fracking sites have flushed into majors rivers. Texas officials have reportedly taken dozens of images of waterways polluted with crude oil and fracking chemicals, which show the “sheens and plumes spreading from tipped tanks and flooded production sites.” Affected waterways include the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, which flooded in March, and the Trinity, Red, and Colorado rivers, which flooded last year. 

“That’s a potential disaster,” Dr. Walter Tsou, a physician and past president of the American Public Health Association, told the El Paso Times. “I’m sure it will get into the groundwater and streams and creeks.” 

Fracking, of course, is the inherently toxic and increasingly common industry practice of injecting massive amounts of water laced with cocktail of chemicals into the earth to fracture underground shales with deposits of oil or natural gas. Crude oil spills are never pretty, least of all when they destroy habitats.

Bert Guevara's insight:
When regular flooding happens in a state polluted by crude oil and fracking chemicals, then the residents are in big trouble! The next bad news will come from their groundwater.

"According to El Paso Times, chemicals and oil from overfilled wells and fracking sites have flushed into majors rivers. Texas officials have reportedly taken dozens of images of waterways polluted with crude oil and fracking chemicals, which show the “sheens and plumes spreading from tipped tanks and flooded production sites.”
“That’s a potential disaster,” Dr. Walter Tsou, a physician and past president of the American Public Health Association, told the El Paso Times. “I’m sure it will get into the groundwater and streams and creeks.”
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Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population Has Dropped 97% ("give this fish a break before they are all gone")

Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population Has Dropped 97% ("give this fish a break before they are all gone") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna.

The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers’ favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97% from its historic levels. 

A draft summary of a report by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean seen by The Associated Press shows the current population of bluefin tuna is estimated at 2.6% of its “unfished” size. A previous assessment put the population at an already dire 4.2%. 

Overfishing has continued despite calls to reduce catches to allow the species to recover. In some areas, bluefin tuna is harvested at triple the levels considered to be sustainable. 

“The situation is really as bad as it appears,” said Amanda Nickson, director for Global Tuna Conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Limits imposed after the previous estimates actually allowed some countries to up their catches, she said.

“If those managers again fail to act in a conservation-minded way this time, it may be time for other actions, such as an international trade ban or complete fishing moratorium,” Nickson said.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Can our chefs start crossing out tuna dishes from their menu?
Recent reports from Gen. Santos City, the Philippines' tuna capital, reveal that short-term fishing bans resulted in a modest recovery of the tuna population.

"An earlier estimate put the 2014 population of the bluefin at 26,000 tons. The most recent reduced that estimate by 9,000 tons, to 17,000 tons. 
"If the population of Pacific bluefins drops much further, it may no longer be economically feasible to fish for them. 
"At that point, “Pacific bluefin would be considered commercially extinct,” Nickson said."
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The Business Case for Science-Based Water Targets ("everyone knows problem but solutions disunited")

The Business Case for Science-Based Water Targets ("everyone knows problem but solutions disunited") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A World Resources Institute analyst points out that while companies and governments have found consistency in how they approach carbon emissions and climate change, a standardized approach toward water stewardship is lacking.

It has become even more obvious that water scarcity poses one of the largest overall risks to the planet, and therefore, to businesses worldwide. Despite successes in boosting water access to more people across the globe, the United Nations made water and sanitation one of its foremost sustainability goals. The U.N. estimates that by 2050, when 9 billion people are expected to live on Earth, one in four citizens will be affected by chronic water shortages. The World Economic Forum identified water crises as the world’s largest economic risks over the next decade. Furthermore, Ceres, an NGO that advocates for sustainability leadership within the private sector, has long pushed for more proactive water stewardship, from more action at the corporate board level to pushing insurance companies to take water scarcity more seriously. More companies are paying attention to water-related challenges, but the road ahead is still a very long one. But as Paul Reig of the World Resources Institute (WRI) points out, while companies and governments have found consistency in how they approach carbon emissions and climate change, a standardized approach toward economic risks related to water is seriously lacking. According to Reig, three main challenges stand in the way of businesses tackling challenges related to water scarcity. First, a one-size-fits-all approach toward water stewardship is not tenable as water risks vary greatly depending on location. Reig reminds us that in the case of emissions, the impact of greenhouse gases is the same everywhere. But with water, the risks and solutions are far more complex. Water is a local source, not one that is global. What is the source of water across a company’s value chain? Where is that water discharged? Are there ways in which water use can not only be more optimized, but even reused so that companies score an economic benefit?

Bert Guevara's insight:
"First, a one-size-fits-all approach toward water stewardship is not tenable as water risks vary greatly depending on location. Reig reminds us that in the case of emissions, the impact of greenhouse gases is the same everywhere. But with water, the risks and solutions are far more complex. Water is a local source, not one that is global. What is the source of water across a company’s value chain? Where is that water discharged? Are there ways in which water use can not only be more optimized, but even reused so that companies score an economic benefit?"
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36 per cent of coral reefs on death watch due to global warming, El Nino ("we can only watch death")

36 per cent of coral reefs on death watch due to global warming, El Nino ("we can only watch death") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

While dramatic images of unprecedented total bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are stunning the world, thousands of miles to the east conditions are somehow even worse.

The coral on the sea floor around the Pacific island of Kiritimati looked like a boneyard in November — stark, white and lifeless. But there was still some hope. This month, color returned with fuzzy reds and browns — but that's not good news. Algae has overtaken the lifeless coral on what had been some of the most pristine coral reefs on the planet, said University of Victoria coral reef scientist Julia Baum after dozens of dives in the past week. Maybe 5 percent will survive, she estimated.

"What it really looks like is a ghost town," Baum said. "It's as if the buildings are standing but no one's home." Kiritimati is where El Nino, along with global warming, has done the most damage to corals in the past two years, experts said. While dramatic images of unprecedented total bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are stunning the world, thousands of miles to the east conditions are somehow even worse. "This El Nino has its most powerful grip right at this spot," said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb in a telephone interview from the island 2,000 miles south of Hawaii.

About 36 per cent of the world's coral reefs — 72 per cent of the U.S. reefs — are in such warm water they are under official death watch, and that could rise to up to 60 per cent of the world's coral by July, said Mark Eakin, the coral reef watch coordinator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Eakin said Kiritimati was the worst he's seen, with American Samoa a close second.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Coral reefs are important for fishing; nearly half a billion people rely on coral reef marine life for food, Eakin said. 
"Coral reefs cover only one-tenth of one per cent of the sea floor but are home to 25 per cent of all marine species..."

"It's the heat that's killing the coral. In December, temperatures at Kiritimati peaked at 88.5 degrees (31.4 degrees Celsius) and have been about 5 to 7 degrees warmer than normal. That's the kind of temperature spike that can be the difference between life and death for coral, Eakin said. 
"Water temperatures around the island are nearly a degree Fahrenheit warmer than the last big El Nino, in 1997-98, and the damage is far worse, likely an assist from man-made warming on top of the natural transitory warming from El Nino, Cobb said."
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Antarctic loss could double expected sea level rise by 2100, scientists say ("future not good")

Antarctic loss could double expected sea level rise by 2100, scientists say ("future not good") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

If carbon emissions continue unabated, expanding oceans and massive ice melt would threaten global coastal communities, according to new projections.

Sea levels could rise nearly twice as much as previously predicted by the end of this century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, an outcome that could devastate coastal communities around the globe, according to new research published Wednesday. The main reason? Antarctica. Scientists behind a new study published in the journal Nature used sophisticated computer models to decipher a longstanding riddle about how the massive, mostly uninhabited continent surrendered so much ice during previous warm periods on Earth. They found that similar conditions in the future could lead to monumental and irreversible increases in sea levels. If high levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, they concluded, oceans could rise by close to two meters in total (more than six feet) by the end of the century. The melting of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 15 meters (49 feet) by 2500. The startling findings paint a far grimmer picture than current consensus predictions, which have suggested that seas could rise by just under a meter at most by the year 2100. Those estimates relied on the notion that expanding ocean waters and the melting of relatively small glaciers would fuel the majority of sea level rise, rather than the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Most people are still downplaying the dangers of sea level rise. Recently however, the forecasted rise has doubled because of the polar melting. Check out this article to find out.

“People should not look at this as a futuristic scenario of things that may or may not happen. They should look at it as the tragic story we are following right now,” said Eric Rignot, an expert on Antarctica’s ice sheet and an earth sciences professor at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in Wednesday’s study. “We are not there yet … [But] with the current rate of emissions, we are heading that way.”
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